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Complications of Eros: The song of songs in John of Morigny’s Liber Florum Celestis doctrine

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Chapter Summary

Within the long and varied tradition of medieval Christian commentaries on the Song of Songs, the yearning for the beloved, becomes key to a hermeneutic construction illuminating the relation of the divine to the cosmos, the community of believers, and the individual soul. In the medieval liturgical and commentary traditions, the divine eros is essentially polymorphous; heavenly love does not heed the earthly conventions governing erotic contact between genders and family members, and Christ and Mary may be found represented in various configurations of erotic relation to one another. This chapter looks at eros as a "test case" for the articulation of types of human experience as they are mapped onto ideas of divinity. It focuses on the uses of exegesis of the Song in a text less well known: the Liber florum celestis doctrine, a fourteenth-century ritual text composed by John, a monk of the Benedictine abbey of Morigny.

Keywords: Benedictine abbey; eros; John Morigny; Liber Florum Celestis Doctrine; medieval Christian commentaries; Song of Songs



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